In less than two months, dirty pork is coming to a grocery store near you – unless we stop it.
According to the Trump administration’s new food safety inspection rule, the Department of Agriculture is almost entirely relinquishing its role in ensuring food safety for the American people. Slaughterhouses – not independent federal inspectors – will be responsible for inspecting most of their own pork. They will also be relying heavily on chemicals to wash the meat.
The new final rule takes effect Dec. 2, just in time for the holidays.
Adding to the miserable picture, the administration has also lifted the line speed restrictions to allow slaughterhouses to process as many pork products as they’d like to increase profits, raising safety concerns for workers and consumers alike.
Meat workers are already three times more likely to suffer serious injury such as amputations and crushed fingers than the average U.S. workers. Now they have to work even faster with even less time to inspect the meat. This increases pressure on the final federal inspector at the end of the line who have only seconds to inspect the meat that will eventually land on your holiday dinner plates.
So instead of Dashing Through the Snow this holiday season, you might be Dashing Through… Salmonella?
We must stop it
Our union worked with members of Congress to include a provision in the House Agriculture Appropriations bill that would halt this dirty pork rule until the Department of Agriculture’s inspector general has studied the data used to create the new rule. The bill passed the House but has to be agreed to by the Senate.
In addition to food safety concerns, the rule is also a backdoor way to get rid of federal employees since it will result in the loss of 40% of federal inspector jobs in hog slaughter plants.
“This rule is bad for workers and consumers alike. By removing food safety inspectors from slaughter lines and turning over their responsibilities to untrained plant employees, jobs will be lost and the pork we eat will be less safe," said AFGE President J. David Cox. "While this rule is called the 'Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection,' it will instead take us back a century to a time when there was little government oversight over the meatpacking industry.”
Call your members of Congress and urge them to include the House language in the final version of the Agriculture Appropriations bill.
Call 833-394-7292 and ask to be connected to your elected officials.